Letters to the Editor

Readers write about Better at Home and some unseen effects of the film industry

Dear Editor,

Ashcroft-Cache Creek Better at Home recently received a very generous donation from the Ashcroft and District Health Care Auxiliary.

Thank you everyone! This starts with the people who support, donate to, and shop at the Auxiliary Thrift Store, the wonderful volunteers who donate their time and efforts, and the committee that oversees the allocation of funds.

Better at Home and our host agency, Interior Community Services, appreciates the donation and is pleased to see this money in our community helping non-profits.

Nancy Kendall

Program Coordinator

Ashcroft-Cache Creek Better at Home

Dear Editor,

A couple of weeks ago the editor wrote an op-ed (“Small screen, big boost”, The Journal, Jan. 23) about the impending Twilight Zone remake episode filming in Ashcroft. The mention of economic impact made me wince.

READ MORE: The Editor’s Desk: Small screen, big boost

What is economic impact? How do you define it?

Elsewhere it is usually used by special interests who promote projects using Input-Output models. Essentially expenditure – costs — are added up to represent an indicator of broad social-economic benefits. That paradox never seems to occur to most people.

What does having an economic impact mean in Ashcroft? As the op-ed points out, it means short-term benefits for the local service businesses, and that is definitely a positive.

Over the longer run? The film industry has been in and out of Ashcroft for a few decades now. During that time, Ashcroft has demographically and economically declined, and then stagnated. From all appearances, the film industry has had no measurable, lasting “economic impact” on Ashcroft during this period of decline and stagnation.

In order for the B.C. film industry to have a lasting impact, it would have to construct and regularly use studios in the Village of Ashcroft – something Council may want to look at.

Last week I hiked down to the Village to run some errands. In addition to the diesel generators scattered here and there, trucks and other vehicles were parked and idling throughout the downtown Village area.

The air stank of partially combusted diesel and gasoline fumes, suggesting a significant presence of of airborne small particulate matter. That is not a big threat to healthy people, but it is to residents with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD).

Unfortunately, if people cannot see “bad air”, then they assume it cannot hurt them. PM\10 is not visible to the naked eye. That may explain in part why so many here in Ashcroft leave their automobiles idling from 10 minutes to two hours at a time. That might also explain why the current provincial government quickly and easily removed tolls on bridges into Greater Vancouver, because seasonal smog in the lower Fraser River valley is no longer highly visible.

The film industry’s activities are not all “benefits”; the benefits can be modest and fleeting. But similar to the modern resource sectors, Ashcroft can request that visiting film companies attempt to reduce health damaging emissions by minimizing the time that vehicles idle.

Erik Poole

Ashcroft, B.C.


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